Coming on Strong
David Moss is surging as the Flames head into the postseason
While the Calgary Flames aren't happy about being unable to generate any offense against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Wednesday's 2-0 loss, they have to be pleased with David Moss's performance.
Moss had an even rating on the evening and led the Flames in shots with six. He spent time with various linemates, including time with Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla, showing his versatility on every line he was placed with.
The Penguins defense paid a lot of attention to the 27 year-old right winger but when asked about it, Moss deflected any praise sent his way. Instead, he cited the situations as the reason for all of the eyes on him while he's on the ice.
"I don’t know. I think any time you get more ice time and get put in different positions you might garner a little more attention from the other teams."
Moss played 21:13 in the Flames win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. His ice time was only second to Dion Phaneuf's 23:53 that night and he's relishing the increased responsbility.
"I looked at the sheet and it was over 20 minutes and I was like 'Wow, I don’t know if I’ve ever played that much before' but it’s great," he said. "I’m certainly not going to complain."
He picked up 15: 14 of ice time in Wednesday's game and spent a chunk of time on the power play where he looked impressive.
During the Flames third opportunity with the man advantage, Moss was mere millimetres away from putting the Calgary on the board when he wired a shot hard in the slot. The shot had Marc-Andre Fleury beat but the puck rang off the crossbar.
Later, he was part of what will surely be a highlight reel play when he made an excellent cross-ice pass to Curtis Glencross who tapped it at the net. Fleury was just able to get his glove on it preserve the Penguins lead.
Moss looked particularly dangerous when sharing the ice with Iginla and Jokinen. In one sequence, Jokinen took a quick pass from Miikka Kiprusoff and sent the puck over to Moss who was steaming in through the offensive zone. Moss threw a hard shot on net but Fleury made the big save.
The Livonia, Michigan native is the middle of a career season. He's netted 19 goals, nine more than his previous high, and has 37 points on the year. He also has been playing some very clean hockey, only picking up 22 penalty minutes in 71 games.
He racked up his first career hat trick this season in the Flames 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Mar. 3.
"I've been given a great opportunity by the coaches, and when you combine that with playing with some great players, it's been a dream come true," Moss told NHL.com. "I've been able to get some good breaks this year."
Moss was recently awarded the Ralph T. Scurfield Award. The annual honour is given to a Flames player who shows dedication and perserverance on the ice and a commitment to the community of it. Moss has emerged as a dedicated member of the community this season, participating in various charities. He's the spokesperson for the Flames Reading ... Give It A Shot! program, is involved with Make A Wish's Sunshine Foundation, has been an active participant in numerous Flames Foundation for Life events and has been an ambassador for living green with the David Suzuki Foundation's Carbon Neutral Challenge.
"I'm certainly humbled as there's certainly many other guys deserving on the team," Moss said prior to the game. "I was just fortunate enough to be picked and it's certainly an honour."
Moss feels that being involved with the community is an integral part of his life, especially his ability to contribute to children's charities.
"I think it's important. Obviously we're in a fortunate position to be looked up to. You just see the looks on kid's faces when you go to certain events or certain things and it makes it all worth while. It's something everybody can do more of."
The Mellon Arena is the oldest building in NHL. It opened 1961 and has never been a friendly place for the Flames. The club picked up their first win since 1989 during their last visit on Dec. 3, 2005.
Linesman David Brisebois was the victim of an errant skate blade in the second period when he held Maxime Talbot back from Jarome Iginla. The Flames medical staff took care of Brisebois, causing a slight delay in play.
The Penguins missed an empty net four times in the last minute of the game.
Malkin extended his lead in the NHL scoring race, earning an assist and pushing his points total to 106.
THE NUMBERS GAME
3 - The Flames place in the NHL in penalty killing
1 - Power play goal allowed in the last four games
11:29 - Ice time for Dion Phaneuf in the first period
31 - Shots on net for Calgary
THE BIG SAVE
THE BIG HIT
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
UP NEXT: The Flames move right along to Columbus on Thursday night. Game time is 5:00 p.m. on Rogers Sportsnet West.